20th July 2015

For many people British summer time is marked by events such as Wimbledon, The Henley Regatta, The Chelsea Flower Show and the Hay-on-Wye literary festival. These events have a certain level of sophistication about them, in fact some of them have a dress code for the visiting public.

The events above are unlikely to be of interest to those members of the public who attend some of Britain’s wacky summer events. These events are mostly low-key, local affairs that are only attended by a few hundred people. This blog is dedicated to three of the more eccentric events of the British summer.

Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill, Gloucestershire

This event has a track record for producing a very high numbers of casualties every year. The event involves rolling a round Gloucester Cheese down Cooper’s Hill, one of the steepest hills in Gloucestershire. Participants in the Cheese Rolling then chase the cheese down the hill, many unable to stay on their feet due to the steep incline. The winner is the person that manages to catch the cheese. Their prize is of course the cheese and the honour of having made it to the bottom, hopefully in one piece.

Due to the high number of injuries, the Police have tried to stop the event from occurring in recent years. This has prompted the event organisers to not announce the actual date the event will happen. The official cheese rolling website has the date for the 2016 event posted on it, but expect this to be a bluff and change at the very last minute.

The World Nettle Eating Championships

We really cannot understand why anyone would possibly want to enter this event. Despite it being a world championship event we couldn’t find any evidence of other events going on around the world and no local competitions. The nettle eating championships are part of the beer festival at the Bottle Inn, Marshwood near Crewkerne.

Competitors spend a whole hour trying to eat as many stinging nettles as possible. The nettles are provided by the event organisers and mouth numbing substances are banned. Fortunately for the competitors, drinking beer during the contest is actually encouraged.

We feel somewhat glad that we have never been asked to provide one our our luxury VIP Toilets for this event. We only hope for the competitors sake that the nettles don’t hurt on the way out as well as the way in!

The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Part dance, part long-distance walk, the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance traces its roots back to the year 1226. The Horn Dance is one of the UK’s longest running ceremonies. It has been running so long that the full meaning of the dance has been lost in the track of time.

The horn dancers, comprising 6 deer men, a fool, a hobby horse, a bowman and Maid Marion meet up at Abbots Bromley church from 8 in the morning. They then begin their long-distance dance / walk, taking in pubs and farms surrounding the village. By the time they return to the church it is early evening.

The reputation of the Horn Dance has spread so far that each year it brings in visitors not just from neighbouring tows, but all around the world. Find out more at the Horn Dance Website.

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